Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Peer pressure:
“I have to stick with them even though I don't want to.”

Hey Terra,

In school I am with 5 girls and I can't stick with them because when I'm with them I don't behave. And even though I don't want to. I have to act cool. They don't know that I don't wanna be with them but I have no other choice because if I leave them and want to be with other girls they will just start calling me names like "you're a user." And if I want to be with some other girls I don't know how to tell them. I'm really very confused.

Help

Dear Help,

I really admire you for knowing that these girls are not doing you any good.

But I don't agree with you that you "have no other choice." Of course you have other choices! You have the choice to create distance between you and them. You have the choice to tell them why you are spending less time with them or you can just do it and not explain it.

You have the choice to be with some other girls who share your values.

Look, this is your life and even though you don't have any control of what other people think about you or what they may say if they don't like what you did, you do have 100% control over the choices you make. If you continue to stick with these girls even though you aren't happy, then you are totally giving away your power.

Don't do it!

If you stay with them, you'll get in trouble (more than you already have) and you will lose respect for yourself. Nothing is worth that!

You know what you need to do. I hope you have the courage to do it.

So if they end up calling you names, so be it. (Get help from the school if it comes to that.) But stand up for right to be yourself, it's the only thing that matters.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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